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Abt Associates to Lead Effort to Improve Food Security, Equitable Growth in Cambodia

The United States Agency for International Development has awarded Abt Associates a contract for the new Harvest II project in Cambodia. The project, part of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, will improve both food security and incomes for farmers in the horticulture sector.

Although Cambodia has experienced a declining poverty rate in recent years, millions of its people remain just above the poverty line. One priority of the Feed the Future strategy in Cambodia is to improve food security and strengthen equitable growth in the agriculture sector by increasing rural incomes. This will enhance access to more diverse foods, including fruits and vegetables. For this to happen, however, farmers, traders, and others working in the horticulture sector must deal with challenges such as minimal financial and business skills, limited access to market and climate information, and a lack of financial opportunities.

Harvest II will address these problems, strengthening producers’ ability to participate in markets and catalyzing private sector involvement and investment in horticulture to foster sustainable growth.

“Agriculture and food security are vital to the health and economic well-being of the Cambodian people,” said Stephen Pelliccia, division vice president for International Economic Growth. “The Abt team will take an innovative approach to spur the development of a private sector-led, demand-driven horticulture sector, with economic benefits for market participation that are clearly communicated.”

Abt has implemented commercial agriculture projects around the world, including six Feed the Future initiatives. Alexis Ellicott, an agricultural markets expert with successful experience directing two Feed the Future projects in Asia, will lead the project as Chief of Party in Cambodia. Sally Cameron, an international development expert with more than 25 years of agriculture experience, will serve as Home Office Director from Abt’s office in Bethesda, Maryland. Partners include iDE, Emerging Markets Consulting, and InSTEDD iLab Southeast Asia.
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